The independent London newspaper

There are plenty of names that could be used

25 June, 2020

A block in Goldington Street is named after imperialist Cecil Rhodes

• YOU report the proposal to rename Cecil Rhodes House (June 18).

His family tomb lies in St Pancras graveyard opposite the building.

The graveyard is associated with more inspiring luminaries, such as Mary Wollstonecraft, pioneering advocate of women’s rights, or novelist Thomas Hardy, who recognised the damage of white “civilisation” in the brutal devastation of World War I.

If it is Black Lives Matter that we want to emphasise, we have, sadly, plenty of names to choose from closer to home, who suffered the same fate as George Floyd here in the UK.

The June 18 letter from Gerry Harrison, however, may provide an uplifting solution: the quest to commemorate Claudia Jones, campaigner on race, gender, class and other social injustice, whose creative response to the race riots of the 1950s (when Cecil Rhodes House was built), was to found the precursor to the Notting Hill Carnival in what is now Camden Town Hall.

Resident, Cecil Rhodes/Claudia Jones? House, NW1


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